REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 14, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today joined nearly 50 online companies and organizations to announce America Links Up, a nationwide public-awareness and education campaign aimed at providing adults and children with the necessary information and tools to ensure a safe and rewarding online experience.
A cornerstone of the America Links Up (ALU) campaign, which kicks off during National Kids Online Week (Sept. 14-20), is teaching Internet basics and safety tips throughout the school year during events at local schools, libraries and community centers across the country.
“Microsoft is strongly committed to the goals of the America Links Up campaign,” said Laura Jennings, vice president of MSN
at Microsoft. “We believe the collective efforts of nearly 50 online companies and organizations will help educate children, their parents, teachers and librarians about the safest ways to enjoy all the online world has to offer.”
In addition to its sponsorship of ALU, Microsoft has challenged other major sites on the Web to commit online advertising space on a large scale to promote the ALU Web site and activities. Specifically, Microsoft has agreed to match the commitments of fellow online companies dollar for dollar with up to $500,000 in online advertising space. This will result in a potential promotional commitment to ALU of $1 million. Companies such as Infoseek Corp., Compaq Computer Corp.’s AltaVista and Yahoo! Inc. are already participating in the advertising program, which will likely generate more than 25 million impressions for ALU.
“Yahoo! is dedicated to enabling the Internet community, especially children and their parents, to quickly, easily and safely access relevant and appropriate content and services on the Internet,” said David Filo, Yahoo!’s co-founder and chief yahoo. “We are committed to educating these important audiences and are proud to be a part of ALU’s efforts on behalf of our nation’s children and their parents.”
“We’re thrilled to have a hand in an educational campaign like ALU when its goals line up so directly with the goals of the Infoseek service,” said Barak Berkowitz, vice president of marketing, Infoseek. “The success of our individual efforts to provide a wholesome and educational online experience for students and educators is multiplied many times over by combining those efforts with other industry leaders.”
“It’s important that parents and educators understand what resources are available to them, which is why we challenged the leading Web sites to partner with us in supporting the ALU campaign in this very specific and effective way,” Jennings noted.
National Kids Online Week is the first phase of the America Links Up campaign and the culmination of a nearly yearlong effort by the industry and the nonprofit sector to promote Internet safety for children. Microsoft’s contribution to the America Links Up campaign includes the following:
Sponsorship of the America Links Up Web site ( http://www.americalinksup.org/ ), which is designed to be a resource for kids, parents, teachers and librarians for learning about the safest ways to surf the World Wide Web and includes tips and hints for staying safe online
Donating $500,000 in free online advertising space to encourage Web surfers to visit the ALU Web site from both Microsoft-related Web sites and the Web sites of other online companies
Creating and sponsoring Online Safety Month in October, which will be promoted throughout Microsoft Web sites, as well as hosting a local Internet Teach-In event in the Seattle area with vendors such as Net Nanny Software International Inc.
Microsoft’s sponsorship of America Links Up is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to online safety for children. Microsoft is actively working with others in industry, government and the nonprofit sector to increase the public’s awareness of safe Internet practices and to discourage illegal online activity.
Microsoft’s Content Advisor feature in Microsoft® Internet Explorer technologies was the first to offer parents the ability both to choose Web sites for their children to view and prevent them from inadvertently visiting adult-oriented sites. Microsoft also supports the work of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) in drafting guidelines governing Web sites aimed at children. And, in May 1998, Microsoft co-sponsored a free seminar for parents and teachers called “The Internet and Our Children.”
“Microsoft understands that ensuring adequate protection for children in the online environment is one of the best ways we can help the Internet continue to develop as a valuable resource for our society,” Jennings said. “As parents ourselves, we understand the importance of providing guidelines and technology tools that provide a safe and fulfilling experience on the Web.”
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
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